If you are a certified PMP® you mustn’t forget to renew the certification every 3 years. To do it, you must yield 60 PDUs in activities related to project management carried out during those 3 years.

I have just gone through this process and it seemed interesting to write an explanatory post about what can be reported to get those 60 PDUs.

First of all, we must know that we can report PDUs up to 6 categories that fall into two divisions:

  • “Educational” division. In this category there isn’t a maximum number of PDUs.
  • “Giving Back to the Profession” division. In this division (we will then see which categories and activities it includes), PMP and PgMP can report a maximum of 45 PDUs in a 3-year cycle. (Restrictions for other certifications can be found in PDU Category Structure and Policies)

It is needless to say that every formation/activities you would like to have recognized in exchange for PDUs should be related to project management, program management, project risk, project scheduling or agile project management.

With the exception of the last category (F), in all the others, 1 hour of instruction of a specific activity equals 1 PDU.


Let’s see the details. In the “Educational” division, we have 3 categories:

CATEGORY A: Courses offered by PMI’s R.E.P.s or Chapters and Communities. In this category you will be able to report the following activities:

Attending educational courses offered by PMI’s Registered Education Providers (R.E.P.s).

  • In PMI®’s web there’s a searchable database to find centers, activities, etc, but the truth is that it doesn’t work too well and results are, in my opinion, incomplete. Anyway, here’s the link in case it works for you: Continuing Certification Requirements System.
  • Seminars, conferences, talks offered by PMI Chapters. Every chapter publishes his event listings on his website. In this link you will find the complete event listing of PMI’s Chapters around the world so you can find the closest one to your place of residence.
  • You can also earn PDUs by taking a PMI® Publication Quiz (reading an article or watching a video and correctly answering at least 70 percent of the questions).

1 hour of instruction in this category equals 1 PDU.

CATEGORY B: Continuing Education. You can report courses offered by a university or by training organizations that don’t need to be registered as a PMIs R.E.P.

When only a portion of a course relates to your credential area of expertise, calculate PDUs by the percentage of the overall curriculum focused on the topic. 1 hour of instruction related to project management will again be equal to 1 PDU.

CATEGORY C: Self-Directed Learning. This category includes:

  • Reading articles, books or instructional manuals.
  • Watching videos, podcasts or other source material.
  • Having formal discussions with colleagues, coworkers, clients or consultants.
  • Being coached or mentored by a colleague, coworker or consultant (if you served as a coach or mentored someone else, you should report that activity in Category E, Volunteer)

In the Self-Directed Learning category there’s a restriction: PMPs and PgMPs can earn no more than 30 PDUs per 3-year cycle.  Restrictions for other certifications can be found in PDU Category Structure and Policies.

Devolviendo a la profesión

In the “Giving Back to the Profession” division, we have 3 other categories. Remember that in this division PMPs and PgMPs can earn no more than 45 PDUs in a 3-year cycle. (Restrictions for other certifications can be found in PDU Category Structure and Policies.)

CATEGORY D: Creating New Project Management Knowledge. In this category are included activities you might have done like: authoring (or co-authoring) a project management textbook or article, presenting in a webinar or podcast, developing course content for project management related courses, serving as a speaker or moderator for project management related courses and presentations, etc.

Both the time required to prepare or create this knowledge and the time to present it can be claimed for PDUs. 1 hour of activity equals 1 PDU.

CATEGORY E: Volunteer Service. In this category you can report the following activities:

  • Serve as an elected volunteer for a project management organization including PMI chapters and communities of practice.
  • Providing project management related volunteer services to PMI or another professional project management association. For example: volunteering at a PMI global congress, working on PMI standards, participating in PMI research activities, etc.
  • Other volunteering activities such as being a coach or mentor on project management topics, a community or charitable group (beware of the definition of project in this last case because it must meet the definition as outlined by the PMBOK®), etc.

Again, 1 hour of volunteer equals 1 PDU.

CATEGORY F: Working as a Professional in Project Management. If you have the PMP or PgMP certification you can earn 15 PDUs per cycle (3 years) if you have worked as a Project Manager for a minimum of 6 months within the 12 month period. That is to say, you can get 5 PDUs for every 12 months of working as a Project Manager. (Restrictions for other certifications can be found in PDU Category Structure and Policies.)

Up to here, what you can report to earn PDUs and to renew your certification as PMP. To report them you will have to log-in in PMI’s section “my PMI”, where you will see your certifications status. Choose PMP certification and start reporting every activity you have done since you got your certification. As you introduce things, in a short period of time (from minutes to hours) you will receive the confirmation of endorsement of PDUs applications for each activity you have reported.

Remember that in the case of being audited you will have to show proof for each and every one of the activities you have reported in the process.

I hope you have found this post useful. For more information, consult PMIs original document that, by the way, has been updated: PDU Category Structure and Policies.

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